OT Kinda: Wood bed board dimensions for 1951 Ford pickup bed


Off topic, but woodworking related...
I am in the process of getting our (actually my wife's) 1951 Ford F1 pickup restored. I would like to make the wood out of birdseye maple for a different look than the traditional oak. The original boards are faily rotted in the several sections so I don't have specific measurements that I feel comfortable relying on. I have done several Google seaches and not returned the dimensions I am looking for. The vendors that sell them have not been willing to give me the dimensions understandably, and I don't want to drop the $250-300 to get the dimensions from a new set of oak boards.
I do plan to post on some of the old truck enthusiast websites, but I thought I would post here to see if by chance anyone has the dimensions of the boards. I think that they are the same from 1948 - 1956 just in case someone has a different year than ours.
Thanks,
David
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Am I missing something here, or could you simply go measure the bed?
Andrew
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You are missing the detail of construction and attachment. The boards are not screwed down to the bed, but are put inside a system of steel battens that run the length of the boards and bolt the edges to the frame.
Either Ford, Chevy, Dodge, IH or maybe even someone else used plain square edged boards. One or two of the previous used rabbited boards to fit inside the steel battens.
Having said that to T&D, could you contact one of the many amatuer restorers at the car shows in your area. I used to know a guy here that restored Hudson trucks (that's right... Hudsons... he has 3!) and he was the picture of imagination to get the info and parts he wanted. He went to antique/classic car shows to take pictures and measure stuff.
Robert
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You are correct, the boards are held down with metal strips that go into reliefs (rabbets) cut into the boards running the length of the boards so that the wood stands proud of the metal strips. There are also reliefs at the front and ends of the boards. Additionally there are holes drilled for mounting the bed assembly to the frame that need to be in the appropriate locations (these are the dimensions I am most concerned about).
From a woodworking standpoint, not a complex thing to do if you have the proper dimensions... As I stated in my original post, I will/have posted to the old truck enthusiast websites to see if I can get the proper dimensions.
As I am on a somewhat tight schedule based on the restoration process, unfortunately I don't think that there are shows locally that would fit my time schedule but I will check and it is a great idea.
I will also check to see if there are any local groups/clubs I might contact as well.
Thanks for the reply.
David
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The boards are rabbeted so that steel (stainless) strips can bolted on with the wood still proud of the metal strips. Additionally there are holes drilled in the wood and rabbeted that allows the bed assembly to be mounted to the frame.
The truck is being restored over 400 miles from where I live and to make matters worse, the truck is completely disassembled at this point so taking measurements is not possible. The rust and rot at the front of the bed was such that I wouldn't have been able to take the measurement if I wanted to. The front panel of the box is being completely replaced due to the rust. Fortunately the only real rust problem we have found. Apparently they did this alot as the replacement is 14 gauge steel rather than the 16 gauge original. The guy doing the restoration took dimensions the best he could, but I am not completely comfortable with the accuracy of them and wanted to confirm his measurements.
As these boards are sold as aftermarket items, the dimensions are known, I just need to find someone that has them and is willing to share them.
David
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Good luck!
Tim
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